A mother's love: How to raise a 32-year-old frog
For #LoveYourPetDay we’d like to share a story of true love for a family pet. If you’ve ever found yourself covered in dog hair or cleaning up cat vomit in the middle of the night and been filled with regret for bringing home a family pet, let this tale of a family’s love for their frog be a lesson to us all. #LoveYourPetDay
When Kathy Perleros gave her 11 year-old son, Alex, a Pipidae frog as a gift in 1986, she never imagined the amphibian would survive to the age of 32. Alex and his brother, Nik, named the frog Fluffy and embraced him as a beloved member of the family.
Pipidae frogs are found in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa. They have webbed feet, no tongue, and claws on one or more of their toes. It’s unusual for this species to live so long. So unusual, that the Perleros family tried to get Fluffy in the Guinness Book of World records, but they didn’t have enough high-quality photos to prove the frog’s identity as it aged over time.
Alas, Fluffy is forever relegated to the margins of history despite her family's conviction that she is about 15 years older than the next oldest recorded African clawed frog. When asked how they managed to keep the frog healthy and thriving, Nik said it was all a credit to his mother's love.
"We attribute her longevity to the sterile and wholesome environment my mom, Kathy, has created for her,” says Nik. “For Fluffy’s entire life, she lived in a clear one-gallon tank, without any rocks or anything. My parents emptied and then refreshed her chemically and biologically balanced water every single night. Instead of feeding her flakes or tablets, my mom fed Fluffy twice daily a diet comprised exclusively of thawed brine shrimp.”
Fluffy passed away last year at the ripe, old age of 32. "She was a remarkable girl for just hanging out and watching life 'at the sink' go by. She was so Zen,” says Kathy.
“Watching Fluffy feed, with her hands gripping the end of a metal spoon while voraciously gnawing on the tip for every last chunk of fatty meat, was one of my favorite activities in life and something I needed to witness every time I went home," says Nik.
RIP Fluffy. Don’t forget to #LoveYourPet today!